CoreNet Global Hackathon: A COVID-19 Virtual Ideation Experience

In May of 2020, as COVID-19 rippled around the globe, real estate, HR, IT, and corporate leadership teams took extraordinary steps to slow the spread of virus, protect the health and safety of employees, and position their companies to survive the turbulence brought on by the pandemic.

To aide in this tremendous effort, CoreNet Global hosted a worldwide hackathon to help the real estate and design communities (as well as their clients) respond to a myriad of challenges posed by the pandemic. The virtual event brought together professionals representing a range of expertise to ideate and develop solutions that reached beyond the immediate crisis. More than 30 diverse teams were established to explore longer-term impacts of the virus on:

  • Space Utilization & Metrics
  • Distributed Work
  • Workplace Well-Being
  • The Autonomous Workplace
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Manufacturing & Industrial

The groups were charged to create recommendations to help organizations grappling with how to adjust workstyles and manage people and facilities within a new, distanced normal.

Thought leaders from across SmithGroup’s Workplace Practice participated in this effort. Alexis Kim, Rob Moylan, Bob Varga and Rebecca Wanders have been instrumental in shaping SmithGroup’s comprehensive return to work guidelines. Partnering with CoreNet, they were assigned to groups focusing on: Space Utilization & Metrics, Distributed Work, Workplace Well-being. Continue reading to learn more about their groups’ findings and recommendations.


CoreNet Global Hackathon: Space Utilization & Metrics in the Workplace Following COVID-19

As organizations grapple with the far-reaching impact of COVID-19—in particular, the widespread and potentially permanent adoption of remote work (in some form)—design and real estate professionals are wondering if these changes will trigger shifts in space utilization trends and the metrics used to validate return on investments. Rebecca Wanders and groupmates worked together to develop forecasts and recommendations for corporate real estate professionals navigating disruptions caused by the pandemic.


distributed work

CoreNet Global Hackathon: Distributed Work & the Workplace Following COVID-19

With no cure for COVID-19 on the immediate horizon, we find ourselves in the middle of an unexpected and on-going worldwide experiment assessing the benefits and challenges of remote working. Many wonder how this experiment will impact workplace strategies and corporations’ real estate holdings moving forward. Design principal Bob Varga came together with teammates to explore these issues and establish recommendations for the future of work.


san diego office

CoreNet Global Hackathon: Workplace Well-Being at Home & In the Office Following COVID-19

Confronted with the realization that COVID-19 has claimed more than 20 million lives worldwide, organizations understand that personal safety, health and well-being have become non-negotiable priorities of the utmost importance. So, when it comes to returning to work, companies must put in place carefully considered protocols that go above and beyond to promote mindfulness and protect employees’ well-being. Alexis Kim and Rob Moylan partnered with thought leaders across the country to explore these issues, as well as the physiological, psychological, social and cultural benefits of returning employees to physical office spaces during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.